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Contributor - Level 2

In Ear system not loud enough

I have an x32 using 2 S-16 stage boxes and 8 P-16 monitors on stage. We have had the system for 1.5 years and the only real regular complaint is that the in ear system is just not loud enough to make the artists happy. They have used a system in a different venue recently that was much louder and now they are asking why isn't ours.
I have always though that this issue might be related to gain staging and that the sound tech who set up our system, did so in a way that causes us to gain down all of the channels to get the house mix right which is lowering the volume of the in ear mix as well. If this is the case, I would think that if we lowered the output of the main amps, then gained the channels back up to set the room, the in ears would then be louder.
Any ideas?
ScottHeffner Contributor - Level 2 2018-03-28

2018-03-28

In Ear system not loud enough

I have an x32 using 2 S-16 stage boxes and 8 P-16 monitors on stage. We have had the system for 1.5 years and the only real regular complaint is that the in ear system is just not loud enough to make the artists happy. They have used a system in a different venue recently that was much louder and now they are asking why isn't ours.
I have always though that this issue might be related to gain staging and that the sound tech who set up our system, did so in a way that causes us to gain down all of the channels to get the house mix right which is lowering the volume of the in ear mix as well. If this is the case, I would think that if we lowered the output of the main amps, then gained the channels back up to set the room, the in ears would then be louder.
Any ideas?

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Super Contributor - Level 2

Re: In Ear system not loud enough

That's certainly an option, just make sure you leave yourself enough headroom so as not to clip the inputs.

If you change the gain structure you'll have to re-do compressor\gate thresholds, and double check any make-up gain. Also check what (if any) compression\limiting you have on the IEM buses\beltpacks themselves.... perhaps you had a limiter on the IEM bus with a very low threshold, leading to the low IEM volume. If this is the case, changing the gain won't help.
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Superhero - Level 2

Re: In Ear system not loud enough

In case your in ear system stems from the 8 p16m's and that's what you are talking about...There are 3 volume 'layers' with the p16m.

First volume layer is the 16 ch's along the bottom, select each ch and use the volume knob.

*Second volume layer is the 'Main' button, middle row far left...Select that button and then adjust the same volume knob used for the individual ch's. All the ch's on the bottom will now ALL get a lot 'hotter' overall and may all need adjustment downward, especially if most of the individual ch volumes were being set at a high level to compensate. This is the one layer that OFTEN gets overlooked.*

Third layer is the top row, far right where it says 'Level' which is the final output level, and used in conjunction with the limiter. That may also need adjustment if your "main" button was low. They are capable of getting VERY loud and why they added the limiter!

Between those 3 settings any user should be able to get their P16M plenty loud enough.


I would assume (again IF using the P16m's) that all the p16 ch's were set at pre eq so any FOH changes did not effect the monitors but either way the volume bit above will adjust volume individually for each user. In the event you are using another in ear system along with the P16M's...sorry to take off in the wrong direction!

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Contributor - Level 2

more output

If your using one of the effects for EQ on in ear mix you can add gain with the master level on the EQ.
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Contributor - Level 2

Re: In Ear system not loud enough

Craig and Dave, Thank for your input.

Dave, I was aware of 2 different volume levels on the P16's and also the limiter, but I didn't think that the level button worked in a way that there would be 3 levels of volume adjustment. I will have to play around with this some but would I be correct in thinking that the limiter should be all the way to the right for no limiting, and the level button (when the main button is not lit) should be all the way to the right for max volume?

I will definitely look into this before trying anything involving overall gain structure of the system.
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Superhero - Level 2

Re: In Ear system not loud enough

Definitely 3 volume layers, the second one is the one that always gets missed. You can tell easily by hitting the “main” button (middle row, far left) and looking at the volume knob led’s. I would bet it’s probably now set pretty low or half way. It’s not a bad idea to turn that all the way up. You can then control the overall volume with the output level knob and limiter and each ch as you would normally. As far as the limiter goes, it’s clockwise. Some say 3 o’clock is about right. There is an led that shows when limiter is active.
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Volunteer Moderator

Re: In Ear system not loud enough

The last level control is analog and does not operate in the digital domain.

The middle level is what sets the level into the d/a-converter so you need to be careful not trying to go over the digital limit.
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Contributor - Level 2

Re: In Ear system not loud enough

What is the tap point for your p16? We run pre eq for most things, and most of our gain levels are from -18 to -12 per Chanel. We also use good ears that seal well. It should be loud enough to hurt your ears, if turned all the way up. Yes it dose have 3 volume levels. Most people forget about the main.
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Superhero - Level 2

Re: In Ear system not loud enough

@Robert
"The last level control is analog and does not operate in the digital domain. The middle level is what sets the level into the d/a-converter so you need to be careful not trying to go over the digital limit."

Agreed, especially of concern if the ch's were already run at high levels to compensate for precieved low volume.

@ Brett
".....We run pre eq for most things, and most of our gain levels are from -18 to -12 per Chanel......It should be loud enough to hurt your ears, if turned all the way up. "

Agreed, no one should have a problem getting their own P16M loud enough, they are indeed capable of hurting your ears, hopefully no one needs THAT much volumeSmiley Happy
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